Tamil Nadu

Evicted residents leave with a heavy heart

On Sunday morning, as residents of Konnur High Road, Ayanavaram, were packing their belongings to be carted away to the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board tenements in Perumbakkam, a few resisted. One of them said he didn’t want to leave as his son died in the house where they lived two days ago, and that he needed time to vacate. However, the protesters, including two rights activists, were reportedly taken into custody and released later.

The rest moved out quietly.

“He burst out crying when his house was being demolished,” said Andrea Glory, a friend of the family that lost the boy. She, along with hundreds of others, moved to the tenements on Sunday. Families complained that they were not officially told about the relocation until two days ago. “We didn’t get any notice or circular from the authorities about the eviction. But were given one day to uproot our lives from here,” she said.

On reaching the tenements, several residents expressed their agony and anguish. “As we were leaving, they were bulldozing our homes. It was a dreadful sight to watch,” said S. Mohan, a tea stall owner.

A few residents were angry because of the hurried and forced eviction, while others were worried about their jobs. “I didn’t have the time to call my employer and tell him that I wouldn’t be coming to work for a few days. But I think it’s going to take more than that. Look where they have brought us. It takes over two hours to travel one way,” said R. Rajalakshmi.

According to R. Geetha, adviser to the Unorganised Workers Federation, the Madras High Court order stated that “residents from Konnur High Road must move out on or before June 10.”

“It only says that they must move out themselves, there is no mention of forced eviction. What is happening is unfair,” she said.

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Printable version | May 5, 2021 3:07:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/evicted-residents-leave-with-a-heavy-heart/article24008598.ece

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